Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Tesco's employees' tax payments

The Guardian just reported on "Tesco's £1bn tax avoiding plan - move to the Cayman Islands", but it relayed without comment Tesco's corporate and legal affairs executive director Lucy Neville-Rolfe's claim that,
"Tesco is one of the UK's largest taxpayers. For the year to February 2007 we paid over £1bn in the UK in corporation tax, business rates, employer's national insurance contributions and other taxes. Combined with the approximately £750m of PAYE tax, employee's NIC and net VAT that we collected in that financial year, this means we are in the top 10 taxpayers in the UK."
Of course, as their name implies, PAYE (pay as you earn) tax and employees' NIC (national insurance contributions) are the employees' and VAT (value-added tax) the customers' tax payments, not Tesco's.

In another article, about regulator Ofcom's rejection of Tesco's complaint against a Channel 4 News piece on Tesco's Bangladeshi suppliers' use of child labour, where the legal minimum working age is only 14 anyway, 'Tesco had claimed the boy who was described as looking "no more than eight" was in fact 12'. That was their defence!?

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